Life apparently imitates art for country crooner Randy Travis who has apologized for public drunkness outside of a north Texas church.  Police in the town of Sanger arrested Travis during the predawn hours on January 6, having found the singer seated in a parked vehicle with an open bottle of wine and speaking incoherently. He smelled of alcohol. But it wasn’t Jim Beam or Lone Star.

Travis, whose string of hits include ‘Forever and Ever, Amen’ , ‘No Holdin’ Back’ and plenty of mournful ballads was hauled into the Denton County lockup at approximately 1:30 am. He was released six hours later after sobering up. After going home to the small town of Tioga, not far from Sanger, Travis released a contrite statement in which he says he is “committed to being responsible and accountable.” He blamed being drunk on “an evening of celebrating the Super Bowl.” One would guess he is a Giants fan.

But the truth about his intoxication bears a resemblance to the songs of sin and redemption so common to country music. According to a police report, the arresting officer noted that Travis claimed that he had just had argument with his girlfriend. It is any wonder that he sought solace near a church? The record shows that Travis was found in front of the First Baptist Church in Sanger where, according to police, "Mr. Travis' speech was slurred and I was beginning to have a hard time understanding what he was saying."

According to police, the disoriented Travis was not carrying identification. After being asked to step out of the vehicle, Travis reportedly stumbled as he tried to walk. The singer then reportedly asked officers multiple times to take him home.

Travis has been the focus of tabloid tales and speculation for years.  In July of 2010, the National Enquirer reported that his 19-year marriage to his 69-year-old wife and manager Elizabeth ‘Lib’ Hatcher was coming to an end because of his adulterous relationship with Mary Beougher, the 51-year-old wife of his dentist. Travis and Hatcher's signed divorce papers in October of 2010. The very next month, it was reported that Travis and Beougher were seeking to buy a house together even before she was divorced. Travis has since then taken to drink again, despite a mid-1990s re-boot as a Christian singer. This week he will launch a nation-wide tour.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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